« PreviousContinue »
bn even if the trading system just embraced annex 1 countries. I imagine that there still significant savings even if the trading system is established just within individual countries.
The fourth reason for optimism is the approach of some key Governments, who I think have begun to appreciate the value of incentives and non-prescriptive regulation. Around the world I think that constructive approach is having a real impact-encouraging a shift in the fuel mix and a move to cleaner fuels in industry and transportation.
So cautious optimism-supported by the advances in technology and by the practical use of public power.
And underpinned by one other factor-globalasation.
I know that in some circles globalasation is much abused and regarded as the source of every problem we face.
Globalization is a complex and incomplete process but I don't think that anyone who cares about the environment could seriously regard its impact as negative.
Quite the reverse.
Most of the advances I've talk about flow from the spread of knowledge which is the unique characteristic of globalasation.
Knowledge of the challenge, and knowledge of the potential solutions.
Knowledge which is transmitted not just in the public domain-in the mediabut also knowledge which is transmitted through particular networks-within the academic world, and within companies.
Almost all the steps we've taken for instance to reduce emissions began with a particular advance in a particular place. They have spread and become common practice because we have networks within the company-technical specialists sharing experience and ideas on a worldwide basis, and able to do so in real time because of the advances in communications.
When you see it in action that is a magical process, and it reminds of what is becoming possible as globalasation creates a single community of knowledge. And that is just what is needed to make progress.
So, Ladies and Gentlemen that is the progress report. A good beginning, much to do but most important of all sufficient grounds for cautious optimism-based on what look like practical advances and real progress.
If we can build on what has already been achieved in that spirit we can confront the problems and help to create and spread the solutions. Not with a single silver bullet—but with a whole series of humdrum local steps which cumulatively make a real difference. That is the role of business. Progress not through drama, but through practical delivery.
The answer to the environmental challenge of economic growth is neither denial nor retreat. The answer is not to say there isn't a problem or that the problem is so intractable that we have to put a halt to the whole process of economic advance.
The answer lies in allowing and encouraging the process of economic development to resolve its own contradictions. The paradox is that the answer to the problems created by development lies in more development. That has been the story of human progress so far, and I believe we are now seeing that story rewritten again.
Thank you very much.
If you have a question or comment about bp world please go to the Help section and use the online feedback form there. Page owner: Robert Wine. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org telephone +44 (0)20 7496 5127
Enclosed is a copy of the National Research Council report titled The Science of Regional and Global Change: Putting Knowledge 10 Work This report, a product of the Committee on Global Change Research, was officially released on January 24, 2001. It briefly describes the challenges and proposes some actions needed from the highest levels of the government to make environmental change research and the application of that research as effective as possible. It describes the steps that will be necessary for the new administration to enhance human health and prosperity in a world where growing populations and the drive to improve living standards place potentially huge demands on natural resources and the environment.
The report concludes that the presently available observational and modeling information on the environment is useful but cannot provide all of the knowledge needed to make properly informed decisions on many crucial issues. The report states that to guide wise public policy decisions and to clarify public debate, it is necessary to restructure the nation's approach to the science and engineering that addresses the changes in biological, chemical, and physical integrity of our surroundings. A new management philosophy for the environmental research enterprise must be adopted that encompasses several disciplines, includes public- and private sector participation, and involves end users and stakeholders as well as researchers at all steps of the process, from basic research to decision making. One of the challenges will be to embrace a new regionally-specific approach while continuing to foster and even strengthen the global-scale environmental research enterprise, which produced remarkable advances in knowledge over the past decade.
The first step recommended in the report is the establishment of a high-level governing authority to coordinate global and regional environmental research and related decisions, so that issues of highest priority have adequate resources. In addition to this first step, the report contains several other recommendations aimed at improving the effectiveness of global and regional environmental change research. The report is intended to promote a dialogue between the scientific community and the government officials who will lead our nation in the coming years.
For further information on global change research activities at the National Research Council consult our website: www4. nationalacademies.org/dels/cger.nsf or contact me directly (202-334-1499 or email@example.com) or my assistant Karen Elliott (202-334-3511 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
Peter Schultz, Program Director
2101 Constitution An, NW, Washington, DC 20418. 202-334-3511 (ted), 202-334-3825 (fax)
The Science of Regional
PUTTING KNOWLEDGE TO WORK
Committee on Global Change Research
Nacional Research Council
NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20418
NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National
This study was supported by Contract No. 50-DKNA-7-90052 between the National Academy of Sciences and the
International Standard Book Number 0-309-07327-8
Additional copies of this report are available from National Academy Press, 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW,
Printed in the United States of America